How to Buy the Best Webcam for 2021

Video chat is big right now. Everyone is teleconferencing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had many companies completely rethink their stances on working from home. You still want to look your best in a video meeting, and that goes beyond showering and getting dressed. What you really need is a decent webcam.

If you have a laptop, you already have a webcam. It probably isn’t a very good one, though. Small lenses, skewed colors, awkward exposure, and grainy indoor video are just some of the problems with might experience with cheap, built-in webcams. A good dedicated webcam will solve those problems, and give you the flexibility to aim it wherever you want without wrestling with your laptop. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re planning to spend a lot of time on calls, recording vlogs, or doing anything else with video.

Here’s what you need to know when shopping for a webcam, along with some models worth considering.

Webcam Resolution and Frame Rate

This is pretty obvious. A webcam can only get as sharp as its sensor can resolve pixels. 1080p is a fairly standard resolution for a decent webcam, but if you really want to up your picture quality (or be able to crop your frame and keep it sharp), you want a 4K webcam.

Frame rate also affects how smooth your video looks. A 60fps webcam will give you a much more realistic and natural video feed than a 30fps webcam will, so be sure to pay close attention to the specs before buying.

Razer KiyoLogitech StreamCam has stereo mics that are hidden behind the fabric front panel of the webcam. Check the product information for any webcam you’re interested in to see if it makes a mention of sound.

Alternately, you can get the best sound quality by using a separate microphone. A dedicated USB mic will almost always make you sound clearer and more natural than a webcam mic, or you can use a good gaming headset for a boom mic you can position near your mouth.

What Webcams Are In Stock?

With that in mind, here are some of the top webcams you can buy now. There’s been a recent shortage of webcams due to a surge in demand, so you may find the one you want is out of stock. Thankfully this issue seems to be clearing up a bit, and at the time of publication, most of the webcams mentioned here can be ordered immediately.

December 18, 2020
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